Denver to Vacate Low-Level Marijuana Convictions That Occurred Before Legalization

Press Release December 4, 2018
Media Contact

Art Way 720-288-6924
Tony Newman 646-335-5384

Who: Art Way DPA State Director for Colorado, spearheads advocacy to ensure that implementation of marijuana legalization in Colorado reflects a commitment to racial equity, reparative justice and public health.

Quote: “We applaud Mayor Hancock for working to repair the harms of marijuana prohibition by vacating low-level marijuana convictions for Denver residents. While we don’t know the specifics of his plan, we urge the city to automate the process so that this helps the most amount of people possible. The state of Colorado should now follow Denver’s lead.”

What: Today Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock announced a citywide effort to vacate low-level marijuana convictions that occurred before marijuana legalization. This initiative is framed as part of an effort to address the disproportionate impact of marijuana prohibition on communities of color and low-income populations. It is presented as part of a broader approach to promoting equity and inclusion in the context of marijuana legalization.

Art Way is available for an interview or comment to discuss:

•    The impact of providing retroactive relief for low-level marijuana convictions and the need for additional statewide reforms addressing similar issues through the legislative and regulatory processes.
•    The need for socially equitable inclusion in the cannabis industry at the local, state, and national levels.
•    The importance of broader criminal justice reforms to counteract mass criminalization and the failed drug war, including the decriminalization of drug use and possession.

WHEN:  Art Way is available for interviews or comments today and throughout the week. Please contact Art Way or Tony Newman for more information or to discuss scheduling.

The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) is the nation’s leading organization promoting drug policies grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights. DPA is a national leader

A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

Sign up for updates from DPA.